Brian Caffarey
12:00am, Sat 29th Mar 2008
Woking 3 Histon 3
29 March 2008

Considering the awful conditions ? swirling wind, increasingly heavy rain and a sodden, sanded pitch ? both sides contrived to serve up a decent and, at times, quite entertaining, game at Kingfield this afternoon. Frank Gray, though, will rue his side?s inability to hold onto the 3-1 lead they carved out early in the second half.

Frank brought in Matt Ruby at right back, continued with Gez Sole on the left of midfield and gave the nod again to Jason Norville to partner Marvin Morgan up front.

Tom Hutchinson went close as early as the third minute, getting the final header on a free-kick which had been nudged on by Matt Gray. A minute later the Cards got the ball in the net to go 1-0 up. A short corner led to an excellent curling cross from Danny Bunce towards the far post. Matt Ruby headed down and a Histon defender could only help the ball on its way.

As against Salisbury, though, the Cards conceded the equaliser almost immediately. No one went with Nat Knight-Percival as he ran to meet a free-kick and he headed the ball decisively past Ross Worner to make it 1-1 with only two more minutes on the clock.

Both sides had chances to take the lead in the remainder of a fairly even first half in which both defences had difficulty coping with corners and throw-ins in the blustery wind. Matt Pattison turned a defender in the 12th minute and was narrowly wide with a decent shot, whilst Matt Ruby saved the day a minute later, blocking Wright after the latter had evaded Tom Hutchinson. It was Tom, though, who had the Cards? next chance with a downward header from a corner, which was just cleared. Another Matt Ruby effort in the 28th minute was followed a few minutes later by a rasping free-kick from Danny Bunce which the Histon keeper did well to tip over from just under the bar. From the resulting corner Jay Gasson put in another swirling cross to the far post. Matt Pattison?s deliberate header trickled wide of the opposite post.

Histon too had their moments, pressurising the Woking defence with a series of throw-ins into the box, one of which was uncertainly punched clear by Ross, with Gez Sole saving the day.

Half-time: Woking1 Histon1

With the rain driving down even more heavily, there was no reason to expect that the second half would be much different from the first. Indeed, some prolonged early head tennis didn?t augur well. But suddenly the Cards struck with their best move of the match so far. Some quick passing on the edge of the box from Gez to Marvin and on to Jason Norville saw Jason demonstrate some nifty footwork to evade a challenge and then fire home splendidly to make it 2-1 to the Cards.

With their tails up, Woking piled on the pressure. The Histon keeper could only parry a brisk drive from Gez. A corner followed. Gez picked up the loose ball and ran at the defence and was brought down. The free-kick was just outside the ?D?. Gez powered it beautifully to the keeper?s left to make it 3-1 to the home side with 55 minutes gone.

Within six minutes the two-goal lead was whittled down to one. Woking had already had a close shave when Mitchel-King headed narrowly wide, but Jack Midson seemed to be on his own in the box as a cross came over in the 61st minute and thrashed the ball into the Woking net.

Nine minutes later the scores were level again. The trouble started with a poor back pass from Marvin Morgan, which put the defence under pressure. A second free-kick was conceded on the edge of the box. Gareth Gwillim lashed the ball into the corner of the net to make it 3-3.

Marvin Morgan, who had had another quiet game, came to life with a fine run and shot over the bar but then wasted an even better chance as he was robbed in the box after hesitating over whether to pass or shoot. Both sides pressed for the winner without being able to make the decisive break-through. Gez came closest with another free-kick in the 88th minute, which didn?t quite dip enough. There was no injury-time winner this time for the Cards, as a potential breakaway ended in confusion between Marvin and his strike partner.

Woking: Ross Worner; Matt Ruby, Tom Hutchinson, Jay Gasson, Danny Bunce; Matt Pattison (Goma Lambu, 85) , Bradley Quamina, Matt Gray, Giuseppe Sole; Jason Norville, Marvin Morgan

Unused subs: Nick Gindre, Damian Batt, Adam Green, Liam Marum

Booked: Bradley Quamina, Giuseppe Sole, Matt Gray

Attendance: 1310

Sponsor?s (Homerwest) joint MOTM: Tom Hutchinson and Giuseppe Sole. Gez (pictured) gets my vote.

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